WA best riders up for Geraldton equestrian event

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Email Reuben Carder
Equestrian judge and Olympic steward Penny Dodd watches 15-year-old Saijsh Mitchell go over a jump on Nero.
Camera IconEquestrian judge and Olympic steward Penny Dodd watches 15-year-old Saijsh Mitchell go over a jump on Nero. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian

Geraldton will host some of the best horses and riders in WA for one of the top equestrian events in the State this weekend.

The Geraldton Combined Equestrian Club is expecting to welcome more than 100 riders and nearly 200 horses to its three-day Showjumping Classic, with the event about 50 per cent bigger than last year’s competition.

“We’ve got wonderful numbers and most of the best riders in the State are here,” president Ross Newman said.

“It’s a very popular show and everybody wants to do it. It is one of the leading events on the showjumping circuit in WA.

It’s a very popular show and everybody wants to do it. It is one of the leading events on the showjumping circuit in WA.

- Geraldton Combined Equestrian Club president Ross Newman.

“It will be a very good show, and the weather looks like it will be fairly good for us.”

He said there would be 750 rounds of showjumping this year, compared with 500 last year.

A qualifier for horse of the year, and one of the prestige events in the WA showjumping program, will run on Sunday afternoon, he said.

Equestrian judge Penny Dodd said it would also be her last official local engagement before she heads to Japan as an equestrian steward for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Equestrian judge and Olympic steward Penny Dodd, with 15-year-old Saijsh Mitchell on Nero.
Camera IconEquestrian judge and Olympic steward Penny Dodd, with 15-year-old Saijsh Mitchell on Nero. Credit: Reuben Carder/Geraldton Guardian

Dodd said equestrian events allowed her not only to indulge her love of horses, but to meet people and travel to new places.

“You’ve got to have a passion for it,” she said.

“You can teach the rules and the regulations, but you can’t teach passion. I’ve always loved horses. I love the sport, I love the people involved, and I just feel it’s something I can contribute to that I enjoy.”

Tokyo will be her third Olympics after London and Rio.

She has previously ferried Prince Philip around a cross-country course in a buggy, helped pioneer sports events in Hong Kong and mainland China after the handover of the former British territory, and officiated at top-level equestrian events in the Asia-Pacific region.

The event will run at Woorree Park from today until Sunday.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails